50 Years Ago: Loretta Lynn Earns First No. 1 With ‘Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)’
Fifty years ago today (Feb. 11, 1967) was a career-changing day for Loretta Lynn: It was on that date that Lynn scored her first No. 1 hit with “Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind),” the title track from her seventh studio album.
“Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin,” which was written by Lynn along with her younger sister Peggy Sue, was considered controversial at the time. Telling the story of a man who comes home drunk, Lynn sings, “You never take me anywhere because you’re always gone / Many a night I’ve laid awake and cried, dear, all alone / And you come in a’ kissin’ on me, it happens every time / No, don’t come home a’drinkin’ with lovin’ on your mind.”
Although “Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin'” was criticized by some for its message, it wasn’t the only time that Lynn tried to push the boundaries of country music, especially for women. Five years later, in 1972, Lynn released “Rated X,” a song about the way divorced women were treated, followed by “The Pill,” a tune touting the advantages of birth control, in 1975.
“Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin'” was the only single released from the album of the same name. The tune, which held the top spot on the charts for two consecutive weeks, became Lynn’s first of 16 No. 1 hits, while the record became the first by a female artist to be certified gold, for sales of 500,000 units.
The year 1967 was a big one for Lynn: That year, she won the CMA for Female Vocalist of the Year, which was the first award given in that category.
Gretchen Wilson sang “Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin'” on the Coal Miner’s Daughter: A Tribute to Loretta Lynn album, which was released in 2010. Other artists who contributed to the project include Carrie Underwood, Lee Ann Womack and Faith Hill; Lynn also sang her hit “Coal Miner’s Daughter,” along with Sheryl Crow and Miranda Lambert.
“Don’t Come Home a’Drinkin’ (With Lovin’ on Your Mind)” is available for download on iTunes.
Loretta Lynn Through the Years